A man driving an hours-old Tesla Model S Plaid shot up to 116 mph before smashing through a house. The crash killed the house owner, her dog, and a passenger inside the Tesla. Three other passengers were seriously injured in the accident. The driver has been charged with homicide.
This happened in a Tampa Bay residential neighborhood with a speed limit of 30 mph. The Tesla owner had just handed off the driver’s seat to a friend hours after taking delivery.
“He accelerated to a speed of at least 116 mph”
The driver facing vehicular homicide charges is Vaughn W. Mongan. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the arrest report says, “Mongan was driving a friend’s Tesla with three passengers inside about 10:15 p.m. when he accelerated to a speed of at least 116 mph on Manning Road, where the speed limit is 30 mph.”
“At least 116 mph.” After hitting that speed he blew through a stop sign, then an intersection, and up an embankment. That launched the Tesla Model S Plaid into the air high enough to hit the roof of a house and smash through it.
Both the resident and her dog were killed from the Tesla crash
The Tesla’s velocity was so strong it pushed the house owner, Donna Rein, through it and into the front yard. Both she and her dog were killed instantly. The driver Mongan, along with two passengers were seriously injured. Travis Meisman, the Tesla owner, was the second fatality. Tampa Police note that the Tesla was not on AutoPilot when it crashed into the house.
Meisman had taken delivery of the Tesla just hours before the crash. According to ABC affiliate WFTS, Mongan had asked Meisman if he could test it out. The street they were traveling on is a very narrow residential side street with houses backing it on either side. It is littered with potholes and uneven asphalt making a dangerous situation even worse.
Update: The following Friday, Mongan was arrested and charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, three counts of reckless driving resulting in serious injury, and one count of reckless driving resulting in property damage.
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Now, a GoFundMe page has been set up for Donna Rein, the family’s primary caregiver for her daughter and two grandchildren. All four live, or lived, in the house. “She retired from her job to help me raise my kids,” Rein’s daughter Lindsey Jones told FOX13 News. “I have two special needs daughters, and she was my rock. She helped me, she went with me to take them to school, to therapies every day, and she took care of my little Riley.”
Another daughter, Amber Mooney said, “She’s the most incredible person I’ve ever met, that anybody has ever met, she would open arms welcome anybody as her own, all of our friends, everybody that we know thinks of her as their second mom.” The daughters have filed a lawsuit against Mongan and Meisman’s estate.